Mormons call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They claim that having Jesus in their title proves that they love Jesus and revere his name1. They also claim that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ, which "supports and verifies the Bible,"2 yet they believe the Bible has been corrupted. (See our page Mormon View of the Bible to learn more). While Mormons claim to believe in Jesus their apologists admit that they believe in different characteristics and traits about Jesus than most Christians do.3 So, what is it exactly that they believe about Jesus and are these teachings supported and verified by the Bible or in opposition to it?
First we must understand that their entire concept of Jesus is based upon their concept of God. We have addressed the Mormon View of God separately, however, here, it is important to understand that their concept of God and man's ability to obtain godhood has an impact on their view of Jesus as well. For starters, Mormons do not believe in the Trinitarian view of the Godhead. Joseph Smith said:"I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural; and who can contradict it?" 4
While they believe that Jesus was with God and is a god, they do not believe that He is the only god. They do not believe that the Father is the only God and they also believe that we too, can become gods."As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." 5
So, who is Jesus to the Mormons? They believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but they also believe that Satan is the Son of God and therefore is the brother of Jesus. They teach that in heaven Satan wanted to plan to save the world by forcing mankind to accept him but Jesus' plan to redeem the world won out, so Satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven."The appointment of Jesus to be savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer…the spirit brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the savior of mankind"6
They do not believe that Jesus was born of a virgin but that He was "begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers"7. They also teach that Jesus was married and was "the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee." We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into relation whereby he could see his seed."8 It is important that Mormons believe Jesus was married because marriage is required to attain godhood.9
It is already apparent that they do not believe in any of the beliefs taught about Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is God, the Son through whom all things were created. He was born of a virgin and was never married. These are only a few of the differences that Mormonism teaches about Jesus. They also believe differently about what role Jesus played in our salvation and atonement.
Mormons teach that Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane as part of the atonement for our sins and also suffered on the cross. However, while they teach that this atonement was necessary for the forgiveness of our sins, they believe there is more required before we can be forgiven. They say, "To make His Atonement fully effective in our individual lives, we must have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, obey God's commandments, and strive to become like Him."10
Mormons do not believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, fully God and man, born of a virgin, sent to pay the full penalty for our sin "once for all." They don't believe in a heaven where we will worship God in spirit and in truth, but that we will become gods also. If we compare these beliefs to what the Bible says we will see that the Mormon Jesus is another Jesus and not whom we read of in the Word of God. Mormons say:"We believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, and we believe what the New Testament teaches about Him. We do believe things about Jesus that other Christians do not believe, but that is because we know, through revelation, things about Jesus that others do not know."1
But Paul said:Gal 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough... 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
So let us compare the Mormon teaching to the Word of God and see if it is the gospel that Paul preached and the Jesus that Paul taught or if it is another gospel and another Jesus. The evidence below reveals that Mormons are not teaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It is apparent that they are "false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ."
|The Mormon Church Teaches:||The Bible Teaches:|
|Jesus is a separate person from God the Father |
"I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. 1
|Jesus is one with God the Father |
John 10:30 I and the Father are one."
John 10:33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
|Jesus and Satan are brothers |
"The appointment of Jesus to be savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer…the spirit brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the savior of mankind"6
|Jesus is God's Son who created all things and is superior to even the angels. |
Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."
|Jesus was not born of a virgin, for Mary had sex with the Heavenly Father. |
"Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers,"7
"And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events,...Christ is the Son of Man, meaning that his Father (the Eternal God!) is a Holy Man."11 "7
|Jesus was born of a virgin |
Matt 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Luke 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
|Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana |
"Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do... Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified."8
"I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children."12
|Jesus was a guest at the wedding, not the bridegroom |
John 2:1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
|Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane as part of the Atonement. |
"Through Through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, the Savior atoned for our sins."10
|It was His death on the cross that brought salvation. The Garden of Gethsemane was never taught to have paid for our sins |
Col 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
|Christ's suffering and death were not enough to save us. |
"To make His Atonement fully effective in our individual lives, we must have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, obey God's commandments, and strive to become like Him. As we do these things through His Atonement, we can return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father forever."10
|Christ paid the penalty once for all. There is nothing we can do to add to it. |
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit
Sources1Mormon.org (Official LDS Website) - FAQs
2Mormon.org (Official LDS Website) - Basic Beliefs
3 FAIR Review of Mormonism 101, by Steven J. Danderson: Mormonism 201, Chapter 2
4 Teachings of Joseph Smith Section Six 1843-44, p.370
5 Prophet Lorenzo Snow, quoted in Milton R Hunter, The Gospel Through The Ages p.105-105
6 Milton R. Hunter, First Council of Seventy, The Gospel throughout the Ages p.15
7 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp 547
8 Orson Hyde, Apostle, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 82
9 Doctrine & Covenants 132:19-20
10 Mormon.org (LDS Official Website) - Atonement
11 Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, page 742 12 Orson Hyde, Apostle, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 210